the legend does not consider the possibility of his death being divine punishment for a wrong. it is considered a pity that eurystheus was not punished for killing herculess men and then impregnating his sister, eurydice, with herculess children. after hera appeared to herculess father, zeus, in disguise as an old man, and told him to punish eurystheus, eurystheus told him that he would not yield to a god, but only to the strongest. the gods judged that herculess fate would be better served by eurystheus surviving. he refused to sacrifice the head of heracles to zeus, and declared that the highest god could not be achieved by a human. zeus then seized herculess old clothes and put them on, and herculess strength was restored. the gods then gave him immortality and an ability to command the gods' powers. in one account, it is even herculess mother, alcmene, who kills him. in the other, it is hercules himself who kills himself, when eurystheus, in anger at the death of his men, turned his bow on herculess sons, castor and pollux, in an attempt to kill them. in one version, he is accidentally killed. in another, he is murdered on the orders of hera, as punishment for the death of her sons.
the mythology records that herculess mother, alcmene, was the daughter of poseidon, and his wife amymone. poseidon was seduced by a mortal named amphitryon, and alcmene became pregnant. a divine messenger told amphitryon that he would have a son, heracles, who would be the greatest of all men. the messenger added that he would face immense dangers and be a target for his enemies. this would be so, amphitryon assured him, but that his enemies would be his kinsmen and his own wife. amphitryon then took alcmene and hercules to mount olympus. it is said that the gods were furious, but that heracles was left free to return to his home. he was met by his parents, who were then assured of his safety. 3d9ccd7d82